Vietnam Swans

Australian Rules Football In Vietnam!

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Archive for the ‘Swans in the Community’ Category

Fundraising Swans this weekend!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 22, 2008

The Vietnam Swans fundraisers
The Vietnam Swans fundraisers

This weekend, across the country, the Vietnam Swans will be out in force raising awareness about the Club and funds.

Tomorrow night in Hanoi, with a little help from our friends, Jim Beam and JASPAS, we will meet up at 5pm at JASPAS to watch the Brisbane Vs Carlton match. The Jim Beam Swanettes, together with a mega bottle of Jim, will also be in attendance. The fundraiser will help us get Mr Tung to join us in Singapore for the Champs.

The following day in Saigon, Sunday 24 August, the boys are off to Danny’s house for a barbie. Rather than raising funds, this event is more about getting different people involved in the Club.

But back to tomorrow, Michael Johnston and Michael Francis will be swimming in the Hoi An Triathlon to save children’s lives. They’re raising money for children’s swimming lessons because more children die in this country from drowning than road accidents.

The swimming lessons will be conducted through the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Hanoi. All donations will be matched dollar for dollar by the Intrepid Foundation.

If you would like more information or would like to donate to the swimming lessons cause, please contact Michael Johnston at

Posted in Asian Champs, Fundraiser, Swans in the Community | Leave a Comment »

Learn to swim; learn to live

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 20, 2008

Potsy and MJ handing over $600 for swimming lessons – and Norm Ross

Just like the Vietnam Swans, Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation (BDCF) staff are doing more than just keeping their heads above water, they’re moving forward and learning how to swim.


Hanoi President, Potsy, and Michael Johnston (MJ) had the happy task of handing over US$600 (10,000,000vnd) to the swim group last Sunday morning in Hanoi. Teaching the BDCF staff to swim were 5 volunteers, Amy, Elaine, Ross, Thung & Tho.


Once the staff have learnt how to swim, they will pass on the survival skills to children. This is so important because in Vietnam, more children die from drowning than road accidents – approximately 40 children each day.


Ninety per cent of the money was raised by the Alcan G3 Expat Staff in Danang, led by Norm Ross. Norm gave the money to the Vietnam Swans to give to a “good cause”. MJ, knowing about the drowning disaster, got in touch with BDCF.


Fundraising will be an ongoing project for the Swans because the Blue Dragon program is going to also roll out to Hue & Hoi An. Next week at the footy match against the HMAS ANZAC in Saigon, for example, a 4.5 megalitre bottle of Jim Beam will be raffled.


Intrepid Travel will also be involved in this very worthy program by matching any donation dollar-for-dollar through the Intrepid Foundation.


To make a donation or to volunteer as a swim teacher, email to make arrangements.

Posted in Swans in the Community | 1 Comment »

The Swans – Kicking goals underwater

Posted by Vietnam Swans on August 5, 2008

More children in Vietnam die from drowning than road accidents

Did you know that 40 children drown each day in Vietnam? That means the sea takes more young lives than the road in this country.

Two of the Vietnam Swans’ Club legends, Michael Johnston and Michael Francis will participate in the Hoi An Triathlon on 23 August and see it as a great way to raise funds for a swimming program which is run by the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation in Hanoi.

Creating great leverage, all funds raised will be matched dollar-for-dollar, by the Intrepid Foundation (Intrepid Travel was a sponsor of the Vietnam Swans’ AFL Grand Final Party last year).

  • $5 buys goggles for 1 child
  • $10 hires a pool for 1 lesson
  • $15 provides transport for children and staff for 1 lesson
  • $20 hires a swimming coach for one lesson
  • $50 buys swimsuits for 10 children
  • $100 buys kickboards for 10 children for lessons

If you would like to donate, please contact or the .

For more detailed information, please open the document, .

The Vietnam Swans – Kicking goals underwater!

Posted in Legend, Swans in the Community | 1 Comment »

Experience Australia Day

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 22, 2008

Did you know that we now have 10,000 Vietnamese student enrolments in Australia? If you knew that, you probably also knew that this makes Vietnam our 12th biggest export market for education.

Key competitors in this market are the US, UK and Continental Europe. And there are some other Asian countries such as Singapore are that are sometimes seen as being more cost effective.

Experience Australia Day is one of the the responses by the Australian Embassy and Australia Education International is to “profile Australian quality education through the lens of culture, people, the nature and achievements of in areas of education, science and technology. It aims to promote Australian education througgh raising the awareness of Australia as a country where study opportunities are offered by its 6 states and 2 territories”.

The Vietnam Swans will be part of the show on Sunay 25 May at 235 Nguyen Van Cu, District 5, HCMC to help differentiate Australia.

Below is the day’s agenda:

8.30 – 9.00: Opening Ceremony

9.00 – 12.00: Exhibition opens to public

9.30 – 10.30: Australian Cooking Show

10.30 – 11.3: Pre-departure seminar (AEI & VGAC)  

12.00 – 13.30: Break

13.30 – 17.00: Exhibition opens to public

14.00 – 15.00: Australian Football coaching session

15.00 – 15.45: Presentation on study opportunities (State Government)

16.00 – 16.45: Presentation on study opportunities (State Government) (Cont.)

17.00 – 18.00: Australian Cooking Show

18.30 – 20.00: Musical show

20.30: Exhibition closes

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The Swans handball board – unveiled this coming Sunday

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 21, 2008

The Swans Handball BoardOn Sunay 24 May in Saigon, the Vietnam Swans will unveil our new handball board at the Experience Australia Day event which has been organised by the Australian Consulate and Australia Education International.

The event will be held all day at Truong HPT, 235 Nguyen Van Cu, District 5 (near the Equatorial Hotel), Saigon. The Swans slot will be from 2pm – 3pm.

Full details to follow.

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A new recruit to the Swans family!

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 18, 2008

Mr Ed and Kate Smith have downsized!

That’s right. Previously, the then Hanoi Swans were actively involved in supporting the Warmhouse Orphanage in Hanoi. We would go to the Orphanage and start off kicking the footy before the kids would force us to kick the soccer ball! It was great fun – and leading the charge always were Mr Ed and Kate Smith. They really enjoyed being with a very extended family! 

Kate, Meg and Mr EdEd and Kate have since returned to Tassie. The Swans Blog is proud to announce that they have successfully downsized from heaps to one. On Mother’s Day, 11 May 2008, Kate gave birth to Ms Meg – “(E)M” for short. Ed describes it all as the perfect Mother’s Day present. Ms Em “weighs in at a hefty 8.8lbs and is stacking on the kgs”.

Attached are some photos of Ed, Kate and Meg (interesting to note that Ed has found a new use for the esky). Also, attached are some photos of Ed and Kate at the Warmhouse Orphanage.

Mr Ed - Nostalgia - Same shirt, different times and locationsBut how are Ed and Kate coping with life after the Swans? Ed explains, “We still love getting all of the mighty Swans emails. Sounds like the Swans are having a pretty busy year – makes me nostalgic. We had such a great time with you guys.”

Given the shirt Ed is wearing with Em appears to be the same shirt he was wearing at the Orphanage, we’re hearin’ him when he says he’s feelin’ nostalgic. Hearin’ me?

Congtaulations Ed, Kate and Em – from all the Vietnam Swannies.

Posted in Swans in the Community, Unheard of | Leave a Comment »

Hanoi’s Big Day Out – next Saturday

Posted by Vietnam Swans on May 4, 2008

Avid readers of the Swans Blog will be aware that the Bali Geckos will have to postpone their trip to Vietnam next weekend on the 10 May 2008.

However, do not be alarmed. In it’s place we now have the 2008 Big Day Out in Hanoi!

As per recent tradition in Hanoi, the Big Day Out will be held at the American Club (where else would you hold an Australian event?) and will go all day.

As always there will be heaps of events for all nationalities and ages including the live music which will come on in the evening.

The highlight of the day is expected to be the appearance of the Vietnam Swans, ably led by the amicable and omnipresent Micky Francis.

The Swans will hold a number of footy activities. For old and young, for those of different different nationalities and for those of different religious and political persuasions, it will be a magnificent opportunity to rub shoulders with the stars from the Swans.

How good is that? Get down there next Saturday and judge for yourself. It should be a cracker. 

Posted in Swans in the Community | Leave a Comment »

Swans in AusCham’s Quarterly Newsletter

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 28, 2008

In another scoop for the Swans Blog, 3 days before the end of the Quarter, we can reveal that we appeared in  the Australian Chamber of Commerce’s Q1 Quarterly Newsletter. The article reviews 2007 and looks forward to 2008. Click on the picture to the left to enlarge.

To see other articles about the Swans in the media, click on In the Press

“In 2007, Australian Rules Football in Vietnam took an exciting and significant leap forward. Saigon… combined with Hanoi to form a National Vietnam team, the Vietnam Swans. The Vietnam Swans went on to play their first ever Asian Championships as well matches against the Hong Kong Dragons, Lao Elephants and Thailand Tigers…

“We were able to contribute to good causes including the Warmhouse Orphanage in Hanoi, Prostate screening in Central Vietnam…

“We launched a new blogsite in May which has recorded nearly 20,000 hits (now 27,000 hits)…

“Interest from the media has continued with good coverage in local magazines such as AsiaLife, Timeout and Melbourne’s Herald Sun newspaper (see In the Press tab for all media coverage)…

“Relationships with AFL heavyweights such as Triple Brownlow medalist, Bobby Skilton, Triple Premiership Player, Clark Keating and Sydney/South Melbourne Team of the Century Player, Tony Morwood have continued to grow…

“Back in Melbourne, the Elgar Park Dragons (comprising predominantly Vietnamese Aussies) played their first ever season of AFL… and will tour to Saigon in September of this year…

“The beginnings of a relationship have also been formed with the National Vietnam Veterans’ War Museum at Phillip Island, Victoria…

“2008 is shaping up to be an exciting year with a number of matches already scheduled including Malaysia (twice), Bali, Singapore, the Asian Championships and Elgar Park Dragons…”

For the full story, click on the picture of the article above.

Posted in Swans in the Community | Leave a Comment »

Club Email and Nha Trang

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 26, 2008

Nha Trang Weekend

Are you coming to Nha Trang on 19 – 20 April?? Why wouldn’t ya?


There will be a cracking footy match as well as rugby. Confirm your attendance by contacting Symmo or the .

(Yes, “Hanoi Hawks” has been mentioned on the poster for this state of origin match as the Hanoi Hawks preceded the Hanoi Swans. But for lovers of the Vietnam Swans, please note the red and white colouring on the poster).

Saigon Saints

For those of you who want to learn more about the history of the Saigon Saints footy club, tune into to read a posting by Pago on the 10th anniversary of the Sainters.

Footy Tipping

The footy tipping comp started last weekend. To read the summary of what happened, check out the post Round 1 analysis by Muzza the Tip Star at

Grand Final Thought

As the poster above says, “Go large” – but don’t go back home.

Posted in sport, Swans in the Community, Unheard of | Leave a Comment »

Local Derby: Saigon Saints V Hanoi Hawks/Swans, Nha Trang

Posted by Vietnam Swans on March 14, 2008

For those who haven’t caught up on the gos, the luckless Vietnam Swans went down to the Malaysian Warriors last weekend by just 100 dodgy points.

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: so now we’re as strong as an ox and looking forward to a guaranteed win for half of us in the next local Derby:

Match: Saigon Saints Vs Hanoi Hawks/Swans

Date: Saturday 19 April 2008

Location: Nha Trang

Time: TBA 

The last couple of local derbies have both been played in Saigon. Nha Trang will be a brave new world. Also happening on the same weekend will be a rugby match between the Saigon Geckos and the Hanoi Dragons.

There is likely to be some support from the Australian Embassy to help celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Vietnam. Making it even more special is the fact that 2008 marks the 150th birthday for Aussie Rules (not in Vietnam but in Australia). As if that’s not enough, the Vietnam Swans will take advantage of the opportunity to farewell the latest; this time, Sensational Sam Grigg.

Cheap domestic airfares (and trains), no visas and $10 accommodation options should ensure that we have heaps of players for the Saigon Saints and Hanoi Hawks/Swans. To prove me correct, register your interest in coming to Nha Trang by .

At the beginning, middle and end of the country, it’s all footy.

Posted in Asian Footy, Farewell, photography, Swans in the Community, Unheard of | Leave a Comment »

National Vietnam Veterans’ Museum

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 23, 2008

The on Phillip Island, near Melbourne, “is the only museum of its kind in Australia that covers a specific period in Australia’s military history.

“The collection of around 6,000 artefacts exists to permanently record Australia’s longest commitment to any war, a period of 10 years that spanned from 1962.

“It presents the story of Australia’s military involvement at a time of deep division among the Australian population over conscription.”

Mighty Mad - Past and FutureNow, fast forward to January 2008. Maddie Johns (niece of current Swans President, Phil Johns – hence the Vietnam Swans hat) presented the museum with her Grade 4 project.

Her project does not make any reference to the war. It decribes life in Vietnam today. Maddie has stuck 20 Vietnamese flags into a foam board. Each flag presents a fact about Vietnam: population, currency, exports etc.

The juxtaposition of Maddie and her project in front of a photograph taken in time of war is stark. One represents the past. The other represents the future.

If you’re near Phillip Island, do drop into the for a factual and sensitive account of the Vietnam War (referred to by the Vietnamese as “the American War”).

Posted in Swans in the Community, Unheard of, Vietnam | Leave a Comment »

Swans Blog smashes through 20,000 hits

Posted by Vietnam Swans on February 3, 2008

Last week, the Swans Blog smashed through its 20,000th hit. Since then, we’ve recorded another 700 hits.

In what has been a bumper month for the Swans Blog, January had 3,279 hits which is a world record. Our previous best month was July last year when we had 3,271. What’s weird about that is that July was the month of the Asian Championships. January, by contrast, was the month of not very much!

In the last 20 days, 12 days have had more than 100 hits. If you include days that had more than 90 hits, the number goes up to 17. Seriously unheard of.

The Swans Blog has attracted an international audience. Staggeringly, the United States accounts for 28 per cent of our traffic; Australia has 22 per cent and Vietnam comes in at No. 3 with 19 per cent of the hits. Often, the Blog is difficult to access in Vietnam. Many times we can’t access it during the day at all which may explain why Vietnam doesn’t come in at No. 1.

If you have your own theory to explain these results, post a comment.

Posted in Asian Champs, Swans in the Community, Unheard of | Leave a Comment »


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